Communication is crucial in health care. The form of communication can be immediate, FYIs, or education to patient and or family members. Effective and timely communication builds trust among team members, patient and care providers. Here are a few tips for effective communication.
Listening is the best part of communication. Allow your patient or health care provider to share their thoughts and feelings. This will give you a lot of information about the patient, their lifestyle, their beliefs. Knowing your patient will help you treat them appropriately. Listening to your patient also helps to develop a rapport with them which is a MUST for a health care provider.
When you are listening, you need to be aware of your body language. This non-verbal type of communication plays a huge factor. Maintaining eye contact, nodding appropriately, empathizing with patient or relatives are signs of active listening. Contradictory, looking around or everywhere else, looking at your watch, making faces pr making noise are signs of not listening or not interested in the listening of what your patient has to say.
Your body language says a lot about you as a person and as a healthcare provider. People can make a good judgment of your personality without you uttering a word by your body language. So make sure it is on track.
This is crucial. If you said something which you are not sure of. Or you miscommunicated (unintentionally) say it.. Take responsibility of your actions. This will only increase your credibility and dependability as a health care provider. Also, if you said you are going to do something and could not do it, say it. Even in front of your patient and family, take responsibility of your do and don’ts. We all are a human being and we all do mistake. We all need to improve in one or other areas of life so IT’S OK to do mistakes and learn from it. But it is NOT OK to hide your mistake and lie about it.
When I say be honest, you really need to provide all the information you have. Don’t try to hide any data when you are communicating with another healthcare provider. Of course, I am not asking you to violate HIPPA rule and share any unnecessary or unrelated information with anyone. Rather, make sure you provide all the necessary information for the other healthcare provider to do their job safely and appropriately.
When in Doubt, Say it:
Health care is an evolving industry. New medical technologies are coming our way almost daily. There will be a time and place that you may not have heard about a diagnosis or a technique. It is ok to admit this and learn from it. No one knows everything. It is not knowledge that makes you a better person or even a better therapist. It is, in fact, your attitude to learn new things, keep up to date with new research as well as the caring nature that helps you stand out in a crowd.
No one wants to know what you think or if you like that patient or nurse or not. It is what happened clinically that matter. Be objective while providing your data. Use your clinical expertise while you share the information.
Hope this blog helps you to develop the communication skills that are effective and efficient.